Your submission is now in Draft mode.

Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

Submit Essay

Once you submit your essay, you can no longer edit it.


This content now needs to be approved by community moderators.


This essay was submitted and is waiting for review.

Will 2020’s UK Christmas #1 be a joke?


In the United Kingdom, the singles which are top of the UK singles chart in the week in which Christmas day falls are known as “Christmas number ones”. Reality television winners, particularly of the show “The X-Factor”, have frequently claimed the number one spot. From the years 2005-2008 inclusive, every artist with a Christmas no. 1 single had won the X-Factor. This prompted an ultimately successful campaign to buy enough copies of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” to get it to number 1 instead in 2009. More recently, X-Factor winners, as well as professional musicians, have had competition from other not-entirely serious entrants. In both 2018 and 2019, the Christmas no.1 spot went to a parody song about sausage rolls produced by british youtuber “Ladbaby”.

This question asks: Will the UK’s “Christmas number 1” in the year 2020 be an obvious joke/parody entry?

Resolution will be according to a panel of three metaculus admins who have not predicted on the question, who will consider the question “would a reasonable person consider this year’s Christmas number 1 to be a joke entry?”.

  • Positive resolution occurs if all three admins feel that the answer to this question is yes.

  • If any admin answers no, as the joke/parody is clearly not "obvious", negative resolution occurs.

As an illustrative set of examples, had this question been written in previous years, it would have resolved positively in 2009, 2018, and 2019. Had it succeeded, the Cage Against the Machine campaign in 2010 to get John Cage’s 4’33 to Christmas No.1 would also have triggered positive resolution.

This question is part of the Academy Series, a set of questions designed to be an introduction to forecasting for those who are relatively new and are looking for a new intellectual pursuit this summer.

Make a Prediction


Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.